TOKYO -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence expressed his gratitude to corporate Japan for investing in and creating jobs in the U.S., in a speech to Japanese business leaders here on Wednesday.
The Mount Fuji Dialogue, an influential Japan-U.S. forum, presented Pence with its inaugural Global Leadership Award to honor his efforts as governor of Indiana to attract Japanese businesses.
"I'm grateful to all the Japanese businesses that are investing all over the United States at this very moment," Pence said in his acceptance speech.
He explained that the U.S. government was working to ease regulations and cut corporate taxes. "Under President Donald Trump, I can promise you, the United States will drive growth like never before," he said.
He noted how Japanese businesses were creating jobs in the U.S. through trade and direct investment, citing SoftBank Group and Toyota Motor. The latter has announced plans to make additional investments at its plant in Kentucky.
"Ever since President Donald Trump's election, Japanese businesses have dramatically increased their commitment to the American economy," he said.
"The truth is simply that a stronger American economy means a stronger economy for Japan and for all our trading partners," Pence added.
The vice president did not directly touch on the U.S. trade deficit with Japan, but stressed that his country "seeks a stronger and more balanced bilateral trade relationship with Japan."
Pence visited Japan twice while he was governor, and strengthened ties between Japan and the American Midwest, Yuzaburo Mogi, committee chair for the dialogue and honorary chairman of soy sauce maker Kikkoman, said while introducing Pence. Mogi expressed hope that the Japan-U.S. alliance grows even stronger under the vice president's leadership.